Denver, CO, October 19-November 16
This story was featured in the October 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art magazine October 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art magazine October 2012 digital download here. Or subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
As husband-and-wife artists Olga and Aleksey Ivanov unveil their new works at Arts at Denver gallery this month, the beauty of Old World craftsmanship takes on a modern face. The show, entitled Golden Terra, opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, October 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues through November 16. The artwork is available for previewing a few days in advance, both in the gallery and on its website.
“After 10 years in Colorado, the Ivanovs have fallen in love with the southwestern landscape,” says Paula Conley, owner and director of Arts at Denver. “Their interpretations of the colors, light, vastness, and beauty that have inspired artists for over a hundred years will play a prominent role in Golden Terra.”
The Ivanovs received a classical art education in Moscow followed by immersion in the study of Russian iconography and the European Renaissance. In 2002, after immigrating to the United States, they began to collaborate on jointly created pieces focused primarily on classic Russian icons, Renaissance-inspired art, and images of contemporary life. But each year as they’ve traveled through Colorado and New Mexico, soaking up a very different natural environment from that of Russia, they have become more captivated by it. Today they draw on their rich historical foundation to produce highly original translations of their western experience.
GOLDEN TERRA, the centerpiece and namesake of this exhibition, exemplifies many of the most significant features of the Ivanovs’ new collection. A vast backdrop of swirling, textured gold leaf suggests the West’s boundless geography, a place where possibility reigns. A stylized moon and sun float upon this golden field, ancient symbols of time’s continuum. The classically rendered young girl, and the two powerful pintos she controls with delicate red strings, represent the heart of the Ivanovs’ vision. For this couple, immersed for decades in an Old World sensibility, their new homeland is filled with “energy, and a sense of freedom,” says Aleksey. “This beautiful girl rules; she can fly. She reflects our understanding of the Southwest as a wide-open, golden slate of opportunity.”
In addition to this signature piece, the show includes approximately a dozen of the artists’ portrait drawings and 11 egg tempera paintings. While a range of subject matter is represented, the couple’s growing appreciation for the West can be seen in their more earth-toned color palette and their inclusion of native plants and flowers, rising mesas, and dramatic mountain peaks. What continues unchanged, however, is the distinctive texture and depth of their craftsmanship as they skillfully deal with one of art’s most challenging mediums.
“The Ivanovs’ work is truly exceptional—a blend of modern iconography with historic symbols and narrative references to past and present, along with a hint of humor,” remarks Conley. “Their technical skills and creativity are the essential qualities that have made them favorites with collectors.” —Rosemary Carstens
Featured in the October 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine October 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine October 2012 print edition
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